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jadey36 ([personal profile] jadey36) wrote in [community profile] bbc_robinhood2013-08-07 09:51 pm

Fitting In

Title: Fitting In
Author: [personal profile] jadey36
Prompt: color
Rating: R
Characters: Guy, Robin, Much, Allan, Will, Djaq, Little John, Marian
Summary: Guy will do whatever it takes to fit in with the outlaws.
Word Count: 2,616
Disclaimer: Robin Hood belongs to Tiger Aspect and the BBC. No copyright infringement intended. All rights reserved.
Author’s Note: sequel to A Different Life (The Outlaw Guy series) (if you look closely, you’ll see that I’ve managed to slip last week’s prompt, perfume, into the story as well).



Fitting In

By the time he’s been living with the outlaws for nearly two weeks, Guy feels like a changed man.

He smiles more, snarls less. He’s learned to ignore Robin’s swaggering boasts and occasional childish behaviour, admiring instead the outlaw’s tenacity, his care for his people and his strong belief that good will prevail over evil, in this case, the Sheriff of Nottingham, Guy’s former overlord.

When Guy asked Robin whether he could carry out his threat to send a flaming arrow into the sheriff’s bedchamber, the outlaw gave him a firm no. Instead, Robin and his gang broke into the castle one evening, stole the Greek fire after Guy told them where to find it and had, or so Robin said, destroyed it.

They left Guy in the forest with Djaq, ostensibly to help the Saracen woman restock her herbal medicines. In reality, Guy knew Robin didn’t wholly trust him and Robin deemed the diminutive woman’s vial of skin-burning liquid, along with her dagger, enough to dissuade Guy from changing his mind about siding with the outlaws and revealing the whereabouts of their camp to the sheriff.

“We cannot risk Prince John marching on Nottingham with an army,” Robin explained when Guy asked why they could not keep the deadly black powder, “and kabooming the sheriff would definitely be considered an unnatural death.”

Guy conceded Robin had a point and let the matter drop, concentrating instead on working to gain the outlaw’s trust so he could forego wearing a blindfold every time he left the camp to help the gang with some task or other.

To be honest, it wasn’t difficult to warm to Robin and his men despite their, at times, irksome behaviour.

Little John, for all his gruffness and refusal to talk to Guy other than to utter the odd grunt, or to grudgingly offer up a simple courtesy, proved to have a heart as big as his person.

One day, having just finished using the ‘loo with a view’, as Allan called the slit-trench privy, and having successfully avoided wiping himself with poison ivy or a bunch of leaves covered in resident bugs, Guy had come across Little John cupping a ball of chirping feathers in his hands. Watching the big man stroking the quivering bird’s head and back and crooning soft words over it, reminded Guy of the sheriff and his twittering caged birds.

For a fury-filled moment, Guy wanted nothing more than to snatch the tiny creature from John’s tending hands and crush it between his gloved ones. “There,” he would snarl at the sheriff, as he plucked a madly fluttering bird from its perch. “This is what I think of your stupid birds and your ill-disguised digs at my failure to capture the Lady Marian’s heart.” And this, he thought, mashing his hands together, is what I’ll do to your stupid bald head if I’m lucky enough to get my hands on you. Squish, crunch, you’re dead.

“It’s fallen from the nest,” Little John told him, forgetting for a moment that he was avoiding talking to the newest member of Robin’s gang, the hated Guy of Gisborne. “Poor thing is helpless. I’ll take it back to the camp. Maybe Djaq can tend to it.” With that, John tucked the tiny bird into his shirt and strode away, leaving Guy with a bitter taste in his mouth for wishing harm on a defenceless creature and a strong desire to go charging into the castle, risking life and limb, in order to remove the sheriff’s head from his body.

Like John, Will Scarlett loosened his tongue as the days wore on, though he had yet to bestow Guy with a smile. Djaq continued to offer Guy the hand of friendship and whenever Robin was not around, he stuck to her side more or less continually. She even removed her vial after Guy repeatedly stung and scratched bare arms in order to reach a particular herb for her. He got on well enough with Allan, though Allan’s ribbing sometimes wore on him. Much mostly avoided him. This suited Guy well, although the dark scowls Much shot at him when Robin wasn’t looking were enough to give Guy heart palpitations every time he took a bite of food. However, after noticing how little thanks the man got for his cooking, Guy decided the best way to ensure Much slipped nothing fatal into his food was by praising him. It worked a treat. Not only did Guy get a smile with every plate of breakfast, lunch or supper, he also got a bigger portion than everyone else did.

Yes, the gang were warming to him, and he to them.

~

A branch snaps and Guy whirls around, gloved hand grasping for the sword Robin still won’t let him wear.

“Easy Giz,” Allan says, raising his arms in self-defence, forgetting Guy is unarmed but for a small paring knife that Guy managed to whip from Much’s kitchen when Robin’s manservant wasn’t looking. “You’ve been gone a goodly while and Robin was getting worried about you, thought maybe you’d got lost.”

“Easily done,” Guy says, letting his hands fall to his sides. “All these damn trees look the same. If it weren’t for the distinct perfume of your dugout privy, I’m sure I wouldn’t know where I was.”

“Yeah, well, Robin sent me to find you.”

“To keep an eye on me more likely.”

“Nah. No one would be so stupid as to go wandering around the forest after dark, not even you.” Grinning, Allan turns and starts heading back towards the camp, whistling so Guy will know in which direction he’s headed.

Several paces on, Guy realises that Allan has just insulted him. “Squish, crunch, you’re dead,” he mutters, grinding his boot into the leaf-strewn forest floor.

His annoyance towards Allan, as well as the lack of sheltering walls behind which to take a leisurely crap, soon dissipates as he sits with the outlaws to eat a late supper.

Smiling at her greenery-topped meal, Djaq compliments Guy on his newly acquired skill of finding and presenting her with edible fungi and herbs. Will offers to teach Guy how to carve a simple design on wood for which Guy readily thanks him (perhaps Marian will be moved by a hand-fashioned gift more than she was by bought trinkets and hair ornaments, though the horse he had given her had come close to capturing her friendship if not her heart). Much is too busy stuffing his mouth to mumble more than the odd word. Even John, no doubt upon Robin’s insistence, manages to make small talk with Guy.

As he eats, a feeling of contentment balloons large in Guy’s chest; it’s like sitting with family, or at least that’s what Guy imagines it would feel like if he had a family.

After the meal, Robin takes Guy to one side.

“Tomorrow there is a chest-load of taxes making its way through the forest, along the Great North Road. We’re going to take it and I want you to be with us when we do.”

“And what exactly do you expect me to do?” Guy asks. “Shout threats perhaps? Throw rocks at it? In case it’s escaped your notice, I have no weapons.”

“I admit a paring knife is no match against swords or bow and arrow.” Robin holds out a hand. “I think Much would like it back.”

Guy pulls the knife out his boot and slaps it into Robin’s open palm.

“What did you think you were going to do with it?” Robin asks. “Peel us to death.”

“I dislike having no weapons. I thought you trusted me.”

Without answering, Robin points to the far side of the camp. Leaning against a tree stump is a broadsword, along with a hunting knife and a brown leather belt and scabbard. “Yours, if you want them. Make sure you only use them if there is no other way. Robin Hood and his men don’t kill.”

“Ha! If your peasants only knew the truth of it.”

Robin grabs Guy’s wrist, squeezes hard. “We do not kill,” he says, his blue eyes boring into Guy’s own. “Do you understand?”

“Yes. I understand.”

Robin lets Guy’s wrist go. “Good.” He looks Guy up and down.

“What?” Guy asks.

“Your leathers. They need to go.”

“Why?”

“Well, for starters, they’re not very useful when you’re being chased through the forest, as undoubtedly will happen at some time or another. You need to blend in with the trees and foliage and, right now, you blend in about as well as a black cat standing on snow.”

“I like my leathers.”

“Also,” Robin continues. “They mark you out as the sheriff’s former master-at-arms and my peasants will find it hard to believe you’ve changed sides if you continue to dress as you did in the castle.”

Much as he will hate to part with his leathers, Guy knows Robin is right.

“I will go to Nottingham to—”

“No need,” Robin interrupts. “Allan’s already swiped some clothes for you.”

Guy looks towards his new sword, fingers twitching.

Robin laughs. “Don’t worry. I told him to thieve something suitable. It isn’t a jester’s outfit if that’s what you’re concerned about. They’re on your bed.”

“Thank you,” Guy says.

“And your hair is a bit on the long side. Maybe you could—”

“The hair stays,” Guy says, rounding on Robin.

“Whoa.” Arms held out in supplication, Robin steps back a pace. “It was a joke. I rather like your hair. It reminds me of Marian. Come to think of it, it’s longer than Marian’s since the sheriff hacked hers off.”

Guy strides towards his bunk, blinking back sudden tears. Robin Hood, Guy realises, can be cruel when he chooses to be.

~

When Guy reappears, Allan greets him with a snigger, Much with a snort and Will with a smile, the first he’s given Guy.

“What’s so funny?” Guy asks, wondering if he’s fastened the dark brown leather jerkin incorrectly or perhaps has the breeches on the wrong way round; with lacings at both the front and back, it is hard to tell.

“Nothing’s funny,” Robin says, shooting Allan and Much a warning glare. “It’s just we’re not used to seeing you in any colour other than black, that’s all.”

“I do not like these clothes,” Guy says, fidgeting. “They feel too loose, especially the breeches.”

“Not being funny, but they’re perfect.” Allan cups a hand over his crotch, jiggles it. “Every man needs a bit of breathing space, so to speak.”

“I’ll give you breathing space,” Guy says, “by taking your head off your neck if you say one more word about my clothing.”

“With what?” Allan asks. “A vegetable knife?”

Guy strides over to the belt and weapons Robin pointed out earlier. “I think you’ll find this is mine.” He picks up the broadsword and points it in Allan’s direction.

“Nah, I swear, Guy. You look great. Honestly.”

“Robin?” Guy asks, sheathing the sword.

“You look fine.”

“Djaq?”

“Like a true outlaw,” she says.

“Yeah,” Allan says. “And I reckon if you just braided a bit of that hair of yours, round the front like, it’d complete the look. There’s a cute village girl who wears—”

Guy unsheathes his sword. Allan turns and flees.

Sheathing his sword yet again, Guy proceeds to walk around the camp in order to get the feel of his new clothes. He has to admit, Allan may have a point about the breathing space thing. The thought of his aerated balls has Guy’s cock twitching, which would have been fine in itself if Marian hadn’t chosen that moment to come calling.

“What happened to the warning system?” Robin asks Much, as Marian dismounts her horse and walks towards them.

Much shrugs.

Guy can only assume Marian has been to the camp enough times to know how to avoid setting off the clanging alarm; the thought does not please him. It is enough, however, to tame his free-to-roam genitals.

“My lady,” Guy says, striding towards Marian and giving her a small bow.

“Guy! I didn’t recognise you.”

“I think that’s the general idea.”

“Marian, is something amiss?” Robin asks. “Your father, or...”

“My father is quite well, Hood, though it is kind of you to ask. It is of another matter I came to talk to you.”

Seizing Robin’s arm, Marian leads him over to the far side of the camp, out of earshot. Guy wonders whether her addressing Robin as Hood might mean he is wrong about her still carrying a torch for the outlaw.

He watches as Marian and Robin talk. Although he cannot hear what they are saying, it is clear from their arm gestures and scowls that they are arguing. All the better for me, Guy thinks. He’s no fool. He knows Marian more than likely colludes with Robin when it comes to helping the poor folk. It wouldn’t even surprise him if she were in fact the mysterious Night Watchman. None of this bothers Guy. He is, after all, one of them now. But the fact that Marian continues to live in the castle rather than here in the forest must surely be for reasons other than looking after her weak-willed father or a need for womanly things. After all, the Saracen girl lives and works with the outlaws happily enough and Marian is no fragile bird, of that Guy is certain.

Robin says something to Marian that makes her slap his arm and turn her back on him. She walks towards Guy, tossing the words “Grow up,” over her shoulder as she does so.

By the time she reaches him, she is smiling. “I am glad you have taken to this life, Guy. I cannot tell you how much it pleases me to know that you have escaped the clutches of that tyrant of a sheriff. These men, not forgetting Djaq, of course, are the most generous and brave men you will find in all of England. Just don’t let Hood talk you into doing anything foolish; I know what he’s like.”

“I won’t,” Guy says, gazing into Marian’s eyes and noticing how similar in colour they are to Robin’s eyes.

“Will you stay for supper?” Djaq asks Marian. “I think you’ll find our table more than bearable now that Guy is helping me glean the forest for food items that don’t live in trees.”

“Thank you, but no. I have to get back to my father. I came to tell Robin that there is another contagion in Clun and the sheriff is talking about putting the village under quarantine again. The villagers will need his help.”

Marian turns back to Guy and says, “Good luck.” Then quietly, so no one else can hear. “I understand the change of clothes, but I must say you look far more handsome in black.” She lightly kisses Guy’s cheek.

The sudden twitch in his roomy breeches has him wishing he were still wearing his tight-fitting leathers. “Thank you, Marian.”

He watches as Marian mounts her horse and rides out of the camp, his gloveless hand stroking the cheek touched by her lips. He is happy; happier in fact than he can ever remember being. Not only has he joined what he hopes will be the winning side, but also it seems he may still be in with a chance of winning Marian.

Guy strides towards the trees on the pretence of needing to relieve himself. Despite Marian’s preference for Guy’s black leathers, he’s suddenly glad of his new clothes. His leather breeches were such trouble to work a hand into.

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